Weather station 'X'

A mystery for you.

This weekend (weather permitting) Willis and I will be visiting the location of this weather station in the USA. Can you guess where it is? I can assure you it is not the schoolhouse at Bodega nor is it Alfred Hitchcock’s summer house.


Note the Stevenson screen housing the thermometer to the left of the path. Click for a much larger image.

The interest for this station is that this particular station might have a very pristine record unblemished by UHI and other man-made encroachments. What we don’t know yet is if it is continuous record since the station was installed.



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I’ll take a wild stab at it — Oregon North Coast. It looks familiar.

Los Farallones, 21 miles west of San Francisco.

Alan Robertson

I be happy that you two be havin’ an adventure together. (an’ be hopin’ you find the post’s grammatical error.)
[we be fixing it -mod]

Mike T

I’m not American, so it could be anywhere coastal, or an offshore island, judging by the low grasses and the fact the only tree is in the shelter of the house. I can’t see an anemometer mast (unless that’s it up against the house, in which case the readings would be awful). The screen is too close to the house, too. If it’s been this way for a long time the record would be OK, but the house looks fairly recent.


Randall already nailed it.
but more precisely:
Farallon National Wildlife Refuge
1 Marshlands Rd, Fremont, CA 94555
N37.698244, W123.003355
Have fun.
But Watch out for Billionaire Tom Steyer’s big big yacht belching diesel soot in your row boat.


“…might have a very pristine record…” yeah, but is it pristine from seagulls? Bird-poo heat radiation is ….
/stupidity off…. resuming normall transition 🙂


Boy you guys are quick. Saw it on my phone and recognized it as the research center on South Farallon Islands. By the time I got to log on to my computer to check and add a comment you guys already got it……

Keith Minto

Port Angeles ?


There might be bird-made encroachments (or coatings) here. Is surface condition of the screen likely to be a feature of this record?
If so, it’s likely to have added about 0.7 degC. I can just feel it in my waters.


Should be a good day for whale watching. Make sure to have a camera ready on the boat ride.

Farallon National Wildlife Refuge Weather Station. From Robin in NZ.


Ah – I see some others already got it. Hope you have a great wee excursion Anthony and Willis.


The sixth place decimal-degree coordinates for your target weather station are:
N37.698119, W123.003536


The seagulls caught my attention. Have a lot of them where I live. When it is NOT raining you can watch the seagulls on the grass verges near the road. They do a little dance, patter their feet rapidly on the grass, this seems to fool the worms into thinking it IS raining, pop their heads up for a look see and become lunch. 🙂


NOAA data on Farallon has no data, but here are the ID’s:
Latitude N 37°41’54” Longitude W 123°00’06” HSA MTR State CA
Owner NWSWRH Channel 142 Initial Transmit Time (HH:MM:SS) 00:17:20


Great photo.

Here is a history page. The Weather Bureau ran a station there from 1902-1913. GHCN Daily has it as USC00048376 and has some precip etc data from 1948-1951, but no temp.


P.S. we need a selfie of you and Willis at the wx station with a Seagull on your shoulder.

Brokeback Stevenson Screen?


NEW WEATHER STATION Observer Established on the Highest Peak of Farallone Islands
SAN FRANCISCO, March 27— Observer Stanley Boykin will leave today for his new station on the Farallone islands, twenty-s , eve.n miles wept of the Golden Gate. The new observatory will facilitate the weather forecast in this city and w ill also be provided with a powerful telescope by which faffing versel* can be seen thirty miles off the station. The station has been named Main Top, as It is located on the only accessible peak of the rocky island?’. San Francisco hap now Ihe largest we-ather bureau in the United States except that at Washington, 0. C., withj three well-equipped’fUb-ofIlce« as* feed-: ers—at Point Reyes, Mount Tamalpais l and the Farallones.


@Streetcred, LOL welcome to common core less. (btw those gulls did instantly remind me of Hitchcock)


Richard111 wrote: “They do a little dance, patter their feet rapidly on the grass, this seems to fool the worms into thinking it IS raining, pop their heads up for a look see and become lunch. :-)”
It is called pore pressure. The stamping of their webbed feet and weight induces liquefaction of the soil, the water pore pressure causes the soil to become liquid, just like when it rains and saturates the soil. The air and the owrms are forced to the surface…. lunch.
And lunch is what Anthony and Willis will be if Farallon Asset Management Billionaire Tom Steyer sees them rowing in their little dinghy boat out to Farallon Islands, and Tom is in his 40 meter super-yacht. He’d ran flank speed and burn a kiloton of diesel to do in his #1 and #5 nemesis and chalk it up to climate change-induced “fog” for the Coast Guard.
(sorry Willis, but you are at least #5. Anthony is #1, Curry is #2, JoNova, is #3, and Tisdale is #4.)


No matter how many ways you cook it , sooner or later you would get sick of Seagull , still not far to go to the ‘shop’


Based on the geology, flora and fauna (not to mention coastal view) I am guessing Bend, OR.

Anthony and Willis at the North Farallons, in their reincarnations, after the unfortunate Mr Steyer’s Mega-Yacht incident in a “Climate change fog bank”.

Here’s another view of it – (the house to the right):
Looks like fun!!
Next stop, North Sentinel Island? – (beware of the natives – the Sentinelese)

J Broadbent

Don’t slip on the path to knowledge!

NZ Willy

It’s on the island of Myst. Obvious to anyone who’s played it.

Dr Burns
Mike T

Interesting thread, the one on Stevenson screens. It’s not difficult to keep them painted, it’s not as if they have to be redone all that often if quality paint is used, and usually it’s touch-ups, not complete repainting. They’d certainly misread if NOT painted, but it’s equally important to keep them clean- they get covered in dust, urban pollution and bird droppings. Of more concern to me is changes in instrumentation over the years (from glass thermometers to electronic probes) and changes from large Stevenson screens to small ones. The old ones had room for clockwork autographic instruments such as thermograph and hair hygrograph. There are also practices such as leaving the bottle of water (for refilling the wet bulb muslins, especially in dry climates) inside the screen which might affect readings. There is also the “accuracy” or tolerance of the thermometers, which might be 0.3 degrees C with a smaller tolerance on the travelling instrument used to check that tolerance (hopefully twice annually). Given all the above it does make one wonder about the temperature record, but what else is there to rely on? Before the commencement of the satellite record, very little. Satellites need to be calibrated against ground instruments, too.

Tom J

Well, it’s nice to know that screen is continuously whitewashed.

Please get Tippi Hedren’s autograph. She has always been one of my favorites! 😉

Bob MacLean

If the seagulls are as aggressive as those in Brighton & Hove at this time of year you’ll need to wear hard hats to avoid serious scalp injuries.

John Silver

Google Earth says:
123° 0’11.26″W

Chris D.

Be sure to look into the function of those pipes along the sidewalk. I’m guessing probably for rain gutter runoff, but who knows. Looks like a really pleasant setting in any event.


Must be on Planet X, home of Monster Zero:


If you look closely, there’s a seagull (AKA sea rat) standing on top of the Stevensen screen. So not only do you have to consider the effect that seagull poop has on the radiative heat transfer characteristics of the screen (maybe a new category to consider under the Surface Stations project 🙂 ) but you also have to consider radiative heating from sea rats perched on the screen.
I think it would be a crappy job surveying this site. Call Mike Rowe for help. He lives in San Fran.

I am in agreement with those who recommend you wear hats.
“There are three kinds of people in the world:
those that poop on people, those that are pooped on,
and those that say, “Oh, look at all that poop!”


“From 1902 to 1913, the former U.S. Weather Bureau maintained a weather station on the southeast island, which was connected with the mainland by cable. The results of the meteorological study were later published in a book on California’s climate. Temperatures during those years never exceeded 90 °F (32 °C) or dropped to 32 °F (0 °C).[15] Years later, the National Weather Service provided some weather observations from the lighthouse on its local radio station.”

You might get to see some Great Whites leaping out of the water while attacking sea lions.
Note: I sailed out of Alameda under the Golden Gate and out around the Farallon Islands in my Pacific Seacraft 37 in 1999/2000. It is expected to usually be a hull down bouncy sail.

Tom in South Jersey

Looks to me like it’s measuring the body temperature of an unladen seagull.

Evan Jones

Bird Albedo to counteract the Bird Waste Heat?


Hmm. It seems a bad idea, to me, to put two such important people in a small craft travelling over the horizon, where the only witnesses would be; the CIA, the FBI, LAPD,
the Secret Service, Homeland Security, US Coast Gaurd, US Border Service, US Navy, US Airforce, …. Are you travelling on US Weapons-Testing Day?


Joel O’Bryan says:
May 23, 2014 at 12:59 am
IMO for humiliating Mann, McIntyre & McKitrick occupy lower circles of CACA hell than some on your ranked list.


Sleepalot says:
May 23, 2014 at 8:42 am
SFPD or SF County Sheriffs.
LAPD would be nearer Channel Islands.

Steve C

BTW, we commenters all expect picture postcards!

Gary Pearse

Isn’t this likely to simply have a sea-surface temperature? Virtually all the air around the screen will be directly from the sea. I guess this would still record the status of global warmiing.

Evan Jones

Okay, Anthony,
Google Earth is a little fuzzy, but, if including the photo, adequate to the task. You’ve got a half-meter paved path ~6 m away. That comes to ~8 m.^2 or so. Then you have the house, ~155m^2, within 30 m. I noticed an odd stepping stone, but so long as that doesn’t add up to ~1 m^2 within 5 m., we are okay.
So It’s a Class 2, Leroy (2010).
I give you my official blessing.
Using Leroy (1999), it’s Class 4 if including the path (“strict”), Class 3 if counting only the house. This is just like those stations I was joking about when we were saying “all Class 4 stations are created equal but some Class 4 stations are more equal than others”. Using Leroy (1999), it is Class 4. But using Leroy (2010), which actually measures the size of the heat sink, it is Class 2.

I’m flummoxed… but I think it’s somewhere in the Turd-world.


“On the news tonight, we investigate the mysterious destruction of a weather station located in a remote nature preserve in California. All evidence points to a drone strike, but authorities have no idea who would have targeted the station or why. Watch more tonight at 11 on W.A.R.M. tv.”